Westport Student Vacations Safe From Chopping Block

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Members of the Westport Board of Education vote in favor of a plan to make up days lost due to Hurricane Sandy that does not interfere with either the February or April vacations. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport parents and students can breathe a sigh of relief: Neither the February or April vacations will be touched to make up for days lost during Hurricane Sandy. The Board of Education unanimously voted Monday night to keep those recesses intact.

Last month, the school board discussed reducing April vacation to three days or cutting it altogether as two ways to make up for the week of school that students missed because of the storm. However, after hearing feedback from parents and teachers, Superintendent Elliott Landon —who recommended those two options to the board — came up with a new solution that does not involve either vacation.

Instead, the district will use the two professional development days set for Jan. 18 and Feb. 25 as student instruction days and extend the end of the year by three days from June 20 to June 25, if needed. This option again gives the district three built-in snow days to use in case there is bad weather, plus the two additional school days that were missed because of Sandy, Landon said.

The professional development days will not be lost, Landon said. One of the days will be made up on a Saturday, a change agreed to by the Westport teachers' union and the Westport Intermediate Administrators. The other day will be split into two half-days, which count as two full days, Landon said. 

If there are no more weather-related closings this school year and the three emergency snow days are not used, Landon said the school year would end June 20 as originally planned.

"I think, based on conversations I had, this is what the community really wants," Landon said.

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